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Old 05-20-2016, 09:30 PM   #1
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New starter battery

Need to replace 12V starter battery. West Marine is offering a Group 24 12 V dual-purpose (deep cycle/starter) flooded battery on sale through Sunday (22 May). Present batteries are agm. Any thoughts/experiences re:flooded vs agm?
Thanks
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Uncleg44 View Post
Need to replace 12V starter battery. West Marine is offering a Group 24 12 V dual-purpose (deep cycle/starter) flooded battery on sale through Sunday (22 May). Present batteries are agm. Any thoughts/experiences re:flooded vs agm?
Thanks
Dual purpose means not optimal for either. If the only function of the battery is to start the engine, then don't get a deep cycle. I like the red top Optima batteries. They are sealed which is fine for a starting battery. The cells are spiral wound which is designed to be better for shock and vibration. Have 2 in series for my 24 volt bow thruster and also use one for the starting battery.

Got mine through Summit Racing with free shipping and no core required!

Ted
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:02 AM   #3
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Ted,
Clarification please: red top or blue top optima battery? Red top appears to be for automotive use; blue top for boats.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:35 AM   #4
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The colors indicate use type. The red top is a starting battery. The blue and the yellow have deep cycle capability. All 3 can be used in boats. If you plan to draw power from the battery (bilge pump, lights, etc.) with the engine off, the blue would be more appropriate. Below is a link to the different types.

Optima Batteries


Ted
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:40 AM   #5
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Any pure start batt will be fine , just be sure the footprint fits in the old spot.

The "dual purpose" batts seem mostly for the outboard guys that have a tiny DC fishing motor too.

You want a real single purpose start batt .

IT will be rated in CCA .
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:48 AM   #6
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I recommend Batteries Plus Bulbs chain of stores. Been getting all batts for boats, trucks, cars, SUV... etc - for years. Good prices, good service, good products - IMO
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:56 AM   #7
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per west marine...

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Dual-purpose batteries

We generally advise that you choose either a deep cycle or starting battery for best performance and battery life, but dual-purpose batteries work well in some applications. With large, thick plates containing more antimony than starting batteries and an active lead paste chemistry, dual-purpose batteries are a good compromise, tolerating deep discharges that would ruin a typical starting battery. Since they have lower storage capacity than comparably-sized deep cycles, we recommend them for the following applications:

Runabouts or other small powerboats using a single battery for both starting and running loads with the engine turned off.
Sailboats with two identical batteries used interchangeably for starting and house electrical loads.
Boats with one battery bank that does double-duty for house applications and engine starting. Dual-purpose batteries will last longer and give more reliable service than a starting battery, for about $20 more per battery.
Selecting a Marine Storage Battery | West Marine
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:56 AM   #8
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I used my local Batteries Plus to order my Trojan L16's and a set of Deka 8v starting batteries. The key is that these are a franchise; some will do orders for a very low margin, some won't. Talk to the owner. Some "get" marine, some don't.

Also, check your local NAPA store, also a franchise. I recall the one there by the water in KW being pretty good, but it's been a few years.

As for the OP, if the Sears Platinums are on sale, and AGM made by Odyssey, they are the best value IMO.
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Uncleg44 View Post
Need to replace 12V starter battery. West Marine is offering a Group 24 12 V dual-purpose (deep cycle/starter) flooded battery on sale through Sunday (22 May). Present batteries are agm. Any thoughts/experiences re:flooded vs agm?
Thanks

If you have a multi-bank charger, and your other bank(s) is/are AGMs, then you'll want to check first to see if the charging profile can work for both flooded and AGM (in different banks) at the same time. (It does, on ours.)

+1 ref Sears Platinum Plus, if you choose to go the AGM route again and if they're on sale. If you're currently using a Group 24 as a starter, the smaller PP should be fine (850 CCAs)... or the larger of the two offers 1150 CCAs if really necessary.

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Old 05-21-2016, 08:47 AM   #10
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Check out your local Academy Sports or Wally World, both have very good pricing on start batteries.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
The colors indicate use type. The red top is a starting battery. The blue and the yellow have deep cycle capability. All 3 can be used in boats. If you plan to draw power from the battery (bilge pump, lights, etc.) with the engine off, the blue would be more appropriate. Below is a link to the different types.

Optima Batteries


Ted
Actually there are both starting type and more deep cycle types in the blue tops. Blue top 34M is a starter, just like the red top 34 except that red top has round automotive-type terminals, and blue top has marine terminals. Other blue-tops like the D34M are more deep-cycle oriented. Confusing, yes.

Look at the specs on their web site and you can see the differences. I had a pair of blue-top 34M's that lasted 7 years starting my Volvo 44 diesel.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:23 AM   #12
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I have had more than one West Marine employee admit to me that all their batteries are made for them by Deka. Go to Deka battery dealer and get the same battery as at West Marine for 1/2 the price. I have the Deka 4d agm batteries in my boat and love them.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:29 AM   #13
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Actually there are both starting type and more deep cycle types in the blue tops. Blue top 34M is a starter, just like the red top 34 except that red top has round automotive-type terminals, and blue top has marine terminals. Other blue-tops like the D34M are more deep-cycle oriented. Confusing, yes.

Look at the specs on their web site and you can see the differences. I had a pair of blue-top 34M's that lasted 7 years starting my Volvo 44 diesel.
From their site:

The REDTOP is designed to deliver the strongest burst of ignition power for a reliable start-up every time.

The BLUETOP offers more running time and more recharges than youd get out of a traditional battery. Its perfect for boats with trolling motors, extensive electronic systems, or RVs.

The YELLOWTOP is the ideal battery for modern accessory-loaded vehicles. It can be repeatedly brought back from deep power drains to full charge, so it can power plenty of electronics and still start you up time after time.


While I agree with you that the blue are fine for starting, seems there would be no need to make the red top if there starting capacities were equal.

Ted
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:30 AM   #14
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Good information Richard.

I agree that going with simply a start battery would be fine if all the battery has to do it start the engine. As others have mentioned, check to see how that battery is charged as the AGM and LA batteries will have different charging profiles.

Replacing a battery is a good time to review your system. If you have a single with a separate start battery and then a house bank, consider simply sending all your charging inputs to your house bank and use an Echo charger to keep your start battery charged. In that situation, you can use any start battery you want (ie cheap lead acid) and not worry about the charging profile. That WM battery on sale would work fine for that situation at $85.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:10 AM   #15
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Here's another vote for the BlueTop Optima Spiral Wound 34M....it IS a starting battery. I have a bank of 2 for starting twin Cummins 370hp 6BTA's; and for cranking the bow thruster, the windlass and the davit. 9 years and still going strong. Charged via a Balmar digital duo-charger off the house bank, programmed for AGM.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:30 AM   #16
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As batts die or get killed , a brand like Sears might be a consideration if the boat is cruised as they are almost universal in the USA
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
I used my local Batteries Plus to order my Trojan L16's and a set of Deka 8v starting batteries. The key is that these are a franchise; some will do orders for a very low margin, some won't. Talk to the owner. Some "get" marine, some don't.

Also, check your local NAPA store, also a franchise. I recall the one there by the water in KW being pretty good, but it's been a few years.

As for the OP, if the Sears Platinums are on sale, and AGM made by Odyssey, they are the best value IMO.
George - That is true regarding Batt Plus stores. Luckily I got to know the owner when he first opened his franchise... and... it just happened that I was re-battering (is that a term/word - lol) two twin screw boats, a classic car, and a truck. So, in his first couple months of open biz I purchased many batteries from his new store; eight of the batts were deep cycle wet cell 31's. Service has been great ever since.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:20 AM   #18
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I've an interstate wet cell starter batt in my often used truck. It's got the 2006 date-hole punched out. I can recall the day the old batt went bad and I immediately purchased this one form ol' Jon; put it in right after filling up at his gas and mechanics station. Can think of no less than three times over the last 10 years it has been drained to flat-dead... due to reasons. Anyway... just wanna say... simple little Interstate still has crystal clear acid/water in its cells and cranks away with no sign of power loss... of course, the truck does start easily.


That said: This is not the only time I've found decade or more strong service from well built wet cell batteries. I firmly believe that keeping fluid level correct with distilled water and much as possible keeping top charge on batts are two important reasons.


Four wet cell 31's that comprise house bank of our Tolly were purchased 8 years ago. They show no sign of let down... yet. I'm planning/hoping to get another 2 to 5 yrs service??? I try to make sure that they never get below 50 to 60 % charge rate. If so, either an engine or the gen set gets started for a toped-off charge.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:22 AM   #19
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Do you need a special charger for AGM batteries or can a standard flooded cell charger work????
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:44 AM   #20
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Do you need a special charger for AGM batteries or can a standard flooded cell charger work????

Not special, but depends. Varies, by charger.

Ours (older, now) only offers two profiles: Flooded/AGM, or Gel. Newer chargers usually offer more choices, some customizable.

Even so, it would depend on the actual voltages a charger supplies in each stage (bulk, absorption, float) and the battery maker's recommendations for voltages at each of those charge types.

In our case, the charger's voltages for the Flooded/AGM profile were close enough to the battery maker's guidelines... which in turn made it easier to changeover from flooded to AGM one bank at a time.

YMMV.

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